Cozy Wednesday with Victoria Hamilton (Giveaway too!)

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

Today my very special guest is the author of a brand new cozy mystery series, the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries. But Victoria is not a brand new author, this may be her first venture into the cozy genre but she has written several bestselling romance novels. I am thrilled to welcome her today to tell us about her crossover to the genre that I absolutely love! Help yourself to a cup of tea and join me in welcoming Victoria.

Hi  Victoria!!

Hi Everyone!

The Ultimate Game of Pretend
By: Victoria Hamilton

A couple of years ago I approached a wonderful agent, one I was hoping to interest enough that she would represent me as an author. I had a mystery series idea, and had already written one book, and was a good way though a second in that series. I was devastated – crushed! – when she read my proposal, but just didn’t find it compelling enough to offer me representation. And then she went on hiatus, and was not accepting proposals for about five months. Ack!!

I was sending around to other agents, but not a one of them was my ‘dream’ agent like Jessica was (and still is). So I did something rare for an author. I asked for – and took! – her advice. Read some of the ‘first in a cozy series’ books by authors she represented, she told me. And I did. I read Hannah Reed, Sarah Atwell, Betty Hechtman, Joyce and Jim Lavene, Sheila Connolly and many others.

And I got it!! I finally got it.

To create a cozy mystery series that people would love, I had to take something I was passionate about and find a way to incorporate it into a set of characters and a town that was both fun and entertaining. I created a concept, wrote a proposal, presented it to my dream agent, and voila! She loved it as much as I did. Within weeks I had a three book contract with Berkley Prime Crime, my dream publisher.

That was how my Vintage Kitchen Mystery series was born. I’ve been collecting vintage kitchen stuff since… well, since the stuff wasn’t even vintage. I have some of my mom’s Pyrex refrigerator dishes, old tablecloths, and even her handwritten recipe book from way back when. Since then I’ve added to my collection with a set of Primary Colors Pyrex bowls, bought one piece at a time so it cost me less than a whole set. I have vintage cutlery, Depression glass bowls, old cookbooks… more than I really should have.

Then I imagined a town I’d like to live in, one where Americans and Canadians could mingle. And so Queensville, Michigan popped onto the map along the St. Clair River, which is the border between Michigan and Ontario. I invented an island – Heartbreak Island – with an interesting history, and a neighboring Canadian town, Johnsonville. I built an old yellow brick house in Queensville, and peopled it with a youngish vintage collector – Jaymie Leighton – and her two fur friends, Hoppy, a three-legged Yorkie-Poo of indomitable character, and Denver, the crabby tabby.

And then I let Jaymie loose, looking for that big, elusive prized piece on which to display some of her collection, a Hoosier kitchen cabinet. Jaymie went to an auction, and guess what she found… a Hoosier cabinet! Being a writer is wonderful, like an extended version of that favorite childhood game of ‘Pretend’. Do you remember that? It was my favorite. While other little girls may have treated their dolls like their babies, I treated them all like characters in a story, and made up lives for them.

And I guess I’m still doing that today. Being a writer is the ultimate game of pretend!

Book 1 of my Vintage Kitchen Mysteries, A Deadly Grind, is now out, and I am thrilled with the reception… readers seem to love it! Book Two, Bowled Over, will be published in February of next year.

When I thought of writing another series, guess what? I realized another collecting passion of mine would come in handy!! I love and adore and collect teapots and teacups. So next year will also see the introduction of Book 1 of my Merry’s Muffins series, A Bran New Death.

This really is too much fun!

A Deadly Grind is the first book in Victoria Hamilton’s ‘Vintage Kitchen Mysteries’ cozy series. To learn more about the series, check out Victoria’s website:

Read an excerpt from A Deadly Grind, and check out the site for online availability of this and other Victoria Hamilton Mysteries.

Victoria, I am so happy you have been bitten by the cozy bug. You play the game of “pretend” very well :).

Now let me me tell you why I loved this story!
A Deadly Grind
(A Vintage Kitchen Mystery)

Brand New Series!
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group

Cover Illustration by Tim O’Brien
Cover Design by Lesley Worrell

Jaymie Leighton lives in her parents nineteenth century yellow brick home. They have retired to a warmer climate and just visit during the summer. Her sister Rebecca visits on the weekends from London, Ontario, and together they hit the auctions and estate sales. They are both collectors. Jaymie collects vintage cookware and cookbooks. Rebecca china, tea cups and saucers. Rebecca is fifteen years older than Jaymie and sometimes seems like a second mother. She still thinks she knows what is best for Jaymie, but at 32 years of age Jaymie can make her own decisions.

Jayme decides to bid on Hoosier cabinet that made be a little worse for wear but she knows with a little elbow grease she will have a treasure. She outbids the other buyers and is thrilled to get her purchase home. Her sister, not so much. She thinks the house is full enough of Jaymie’s clutter. They get it home and leave it on the summer porch. They are exhausted from the day and enjoying their purchases can wait until morning.

But someone else had other ideas. Becca and Jaymie are woken up in the middle of night by noise downstairs. They are beside themselves when the find a dead body on the summer porch. They don’t recognize the man and even the police have a hard time identifying him. Why their house? Who is this guy? Jaymie needs to know. She starts to do just a little investigating. She had better be careful or she may be the one “who ends up going, going,…gone”.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
I can identify this sibling relationship clearly. My sister is 12 years older than me and she too was like a second mom. We are close today but there have been times when she has made me so mad, thinking she knows best.

Before my accident I loved to attend auctions and estate sales. I was just like Jaymie. I would have killed, not literally, for a Hoosier like the one in this story. Our home has been cluttered over the years with my “finds”. This story hit home for me, really struck my heart.

Jaymie and I could be friends, we would be hitting the sales. Becca would probably be friends with my sister 🙂

The setting of these mysteries is really brilliant. Fictional Heartbreak Island between Michigan and Ontario where both American and Canadian tourists arrive for a variety of celebrations is the perfect backdrop. In this installment, a “Tea With The Queen” fundraiser gives the tourists, residents, and suspects a place to gather.

The author has laid the great foundation for more books in this series, setting us up for many return visits to Heartbreak Island. I hope not too many hearts are broken but with cozy mysteries you never know who the next victim or suspect may be. I just know this author is going to give us a wonderful who-dun-it that will find us Bowled Over!!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Thanks to the people at Penguin
I have 2 copies to giveaway!!

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Leave a comment for Victoria for 5 Bonus Entries !

If you publicize the giveaway anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End May 30, 2012 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

44 thoughts on “Cozy Wednesday with Victoria Hamilton (Giveaway too!)

  1. wow..I admire your grit in sticking & holding out for your dream publisher! I love vintage and reading just a bit of your excerpt brought back fond memories of my Grandmother’s kitchen!!

    I simply am entralled with this one. Thanks for guest posting and being here today!

  2. I really enjoyed this blog today. I liked how you shared how you got your dream publisher and how you did it. I enjoy vintage as well, just wish I had the room for more. My current project is getting two heirloom chairs redone. One has been sitting in the barn (I had no idea it was up there). My challenge is to decide what I want them to look like. Both are different, but are going to be gorgeous! I am a born and raised Hoosier, so my dream is to own a beautiful Hoosier cabinet someday.

  3. I collect black amethyst depression glass. I would love to win and read GRIND. It appeals to me greatly.

  4. I can’t wait to read this book – and series!! I am a displaced Michigander, so I love reading stories set in that place. Also, you are combining some of my favorite things to read about: mystery, romance, antiques!! I love your other books (Donna)!!!!

  5. I love these cozy mysteries. i find them such a break from the somewhat intense and, perhaps less realistic, than all the paranormal, dystopian novels I find myself reading. Thanks for starting this new series . . . I’ll keep my eye open for them in the future.

  6. This sounds like a great read. A little different yet without all the extra tension that can be overwhelming. I’ll have to add it to the Library’s collection (especially since it’s in Michigan and not that far from the St. Clair River!)

  7. It really makes a difference when the author is passionate about her subject matter. I love learning about different hobbies and interests and vintage kitchen goodies are right up my alley!

  8. I love reading about Vintage items! This cozy mystery sounds so interesting, Ive had it on my to be read list as soon as I heard about it. =)

  9. I love vintage items. I have a collection of green glass vases and dishes and I have some kitchen items that belonged to my grandmother and I have some things my mom gave me.
    I’d love to start reading this series!

  10. I have such a THING for Hoosier cabinets and all sorts of things that my husband calls ‘decrepit’! This series sounds like just my cuppa’!

  11. I have several things passed down to me from my grandmothers. I love a good mystery and the subject matter makes it even more appealing!

  12. We almost had a Hoosier like that but we were one day too late in going to get it. Love antique kitchen items. i know I will love this book.

  13. I love cozies and Im glad you ask for advice . I to so love the older items and have a few of my mothers Pyrex dishes. I would love to have a Hoosier cabinet to but doubt I will ever get that luck. So with your interests that are alot like mine and the cozies you write both are right up my alley as they say. My kind of reading to .

  14. Hi Victoria
    I am from Chatham Ontario very close to London, I am New to you or you are new to me, I collect Tea Towels I have several that belong to my DH’s Grandmother’s Hand embroidered
    I have 2 belonging to my Mother I love going to flea markets & antique shops i head straight for the linens.
    Adding you too my TBB list.

  15. I really enjoyed the author interview. My daughter is a writer too (she is 15) and when she was younger she would always make up stories for her Barbie families. She had whole life stories written out for them. She does the same thing now with her Sims game! Hopefully some day she will become a published author. That is a dream of hers. She’s on the school newspaper staff, so I think she is on her way. Me, I don’t like to write at all, but I sure do love to read. Thanks for the chance to win!

  16. I love the backdrop of auctions and estate sales! The relationship between the sisters should be interesting too.

  17. I guess that I’m vintage since I’m still using the 4 color Pyrez bowl set I bought in 1963! Love the premise for this series.

  18. Looks like a great new series! I have my grandmother-in-law’s Pyrex bowls, use them all the time!

  19. I’ve so enjoyed reading everyone’s comments!! I do think it shows in a book when the author loves the subject matter, and I do love vintage kitchen stuff! I’ll be sharing much more of my stuff on my blog.

    Hope you all enjoy the book.

  20. I love Hoosier cabinets! I am a Hoosier, myself too! I love piesafes too. Looking for a corner cabinet that I can afford. I love vintage stuff. My father collected pottery and plates and gave me a lot before he passed away. Really want to read this book. I know that I would really love it.


  21. I love tje odea pf isomg a collector. My husband and I collectbooks and I still have some of my families old dishes. I think I woul love this book.

  22. I love antiques and items with a bit of history, unfortunately my budget only allows or vicarious enjoyment 😉 Of course what better way to gain appreciation for a good piece than reading a great cozy. Thank you so much for sharing about this fun new series. I am really looking forward to the read.

  23. Hi Victoria~
    This series sounds like so much fun! I am a collector of kitchen vintage as well – not only because I love it but because it brings back so many memories of my Mom and Grandmother. I’ve added your books to my wish list! Love your back story on how this series came about and how your fictional town became the setting. So much fun!

  24. I love old cookbooks. My mother was born in 1903 on a farm in Wisconsin. Some of the cookbooks I inherited have the most interesting measurements and cooking instructions. And I have a copy of the White House Cook Book from 1900 (McKinley administration) that has marvelous recipes for cleaning things like taffeta and marble. Some actually work better than modern cleansers. I can’t wait to read this book!

  25. Collecting vintage kitchen treasures is such a pleasure, I know I’ll love this series!!!

  26. I myself am an unpublished author, but I always admire those who write mystery. I could write non-fiction, romance, historical fiction, but never mystery!

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